[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), the rate-limiting enzyme in heme degradation, is a cytoprotective enzyme upregulated in the vasculature by increased flow and inflammatory stimuli. Human genetic data suggest that a diminished HO-1 expression may predispose one to abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) development. In addition, heme is known to strongly induce HO-1 expression. Utilizing the porcine pancreatic elastase (PPE) model of AAA induction in HO-1 heterozygous (HO-1+/-, HO-1 Het) mice, we found that a deficiency in HO-1 leads to augmented AAA development. Peritoneal macrophages from HO-1+/- mice showed increased gene expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including MCP-1, TNF-alpha, IL-1-beta, and IL-6, but decreased expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-10 and TGF-beta. Furthermore, treatment with heme returned AAA progression in HO-1 Het mice to a wild-type profile. Using a second murine AAA model (Ang II-ApoE-/-), we showed that low doses of the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor rosuvastatin can induce HO-1 expression in aortic tissue and suppress AAA progression in the absence of lipid lowering. Our results support those studies that suggest that pleiotropic statin effects might be beneficial in AAA, possibly through the upregulation of HO-1. Specific targeted therapies designed to induce HO-1 could become an adjunctive therapeutic strategy for the prevention of AAA disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Background:
The efficacy of selective Janus kinase 1/3 inhibitor R507 to prevent obliterative airway disease was analyzed in preclinical airway transplantation models.
Orthotopic trachea transplantations were performed between Lewis donors and Brown Norway rat recipients. Oral everolimus (4 mg/kg once per day) or oral respective inhaled R507 (60 mg/kg twice per day, each) was used for immunosuppression. Grafts were retrieved after 6 or 60 days. Toxicity and anti-inflammatory effects of R507 were analyzed on human airway epithelial cells.
In 6-day animals, oral and inhaled R507 more potently diminished mononuclear graft infiltration than everolimus and preserved ciliated pseudostratified columnar respiratory epithelium. Everolimus and R507 similarly suppressed systemic cellular and humoral immune activation. In untreated rats, marked obliterative airway disease developed over 60 days. Oral and inhaled R507 was significantly more effective in reducing airway obliteration and preserved the morphology of the airway epithelium. Luciferase-positive donors revealed that a substantial amount of smooth muscle cells within the obliterative tissue was of donor origin. Only everolimus but not R507, adversely altered kidney function and lipid profiles. The R507 aerosol did not show airway toxicity in vitro but effectively suppressed activation of inflammatory signaling pathways induced by IL-1β.
The Janus kinase 1/3 inhibitor R507 is a very well-tolerated immunosuppressant that similarly diminished obliterative airway disease with systemic or inhaled administration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Rationale:
Genetic variation at the chromosome 9p21 cardiovascular risk locus has been associated with peripheral artery disease (PAD), but its mechanism remains unknown.
To determine whether this association is secondary to an increase in atherosclerosis, or is the result of a separate angiogenesis-related mechanism.
Methods and results:
Quantitative evaluation of human vascular samples revealed that carriers of the 9p21 risk allele possess a significantly higher burden of immature intraplaque microvessels than carriers of the ancestral allele, irrespective of lesion size or patient comorbidity. To determine whether aberrant angiogenesis also occurs under non-atherosclerotic conditions, we performed femoral artery ligation surgery in mice lacking the 9p21 candidate gene, Cdkn2b. These animals developed advanced hind-limb ischemia and digital auto-amputation, secondary to a defect in the capacity of the Cdkn2b-deficient smooth muscle cell (SMC) to support the developing neovessel. Microarray studies identified impaired TGFβ signaling in cultured CDKN2B-deficient cells, as well as TGFβ1 upregulation in the vasculature of 9p21 risk allele carriers. Molecular signaling studies indicated that loss of CDKN2B impairs the expression of the inhibitory factor, SMAD-7, which promotes downstream TGFβ activation. Ultimately, this manifests in the upregulation of a poorly studied effector molecule, TGFβ1-induced-1, which is a TGFβ-'rheostat' known to have antagonistic effects on the EC and SMC. Dual knockdown studies confirmed the reversibility of the proposed mechanism, in vitro.
These results suggest that loss of CDKN2B may not only promote cardiovascular disease through the development of atherosclerosis, but may also impair TGFβ signaling and hypoxic neovessel maturation.
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Circulation Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). DM can lead to multiple cardiovascular complications, including coronary artery disease (CAD), cardiac hypertrophy, and heart failure (HF). HF represents one of the most common causes of death in patients with DM and results from DM-induced CAD and diabetic cardiomyopathy. Oxidative stress is closely associated with the pathogenesis of DM and results from overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS overproduction is associated with hyperglycemia and metabolic disorders, such as impaired antioxidant function in conjunction with impaired antioxidant activity. Long-term exposure to oxidative stress in DM induces chronic inflammation and fibrosis in a range of tissues, leading to formation and progression of disease states in these tissues. Indeed, markers for oxidative stress are overexpressed in patients with DM, suggesting that increased ROS may be primarily responsible for the development of diabetic complications. Therefore, an understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms mediated by oxidative stress is crucial to the prevention and treatment of diabetes-induced CVD. The current review focuses on the relationship between diabetes-induced CVD and oxidative stress, while highlighting the latest insights into this relationship from findings on diabetic heart and vascular disease.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · International Journal of Molecular Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: -Stiffening of the aortic wall is a phenomenon consistently observed in age and in abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). However, its role in AAA pathophysiology is largely undefined.
-Using an established murine elastase-induced AAA model, we demonstrate that segmental aortic stiffening (SAS) precedes aneurysm growth. Finite element analysis (FEA) reveals that early stiffening of the aneurysm-prone aortic segment leads to axial (longitudinal) wall stress generated by cyclic (systolic) tethering of adjacent, more compliant wall segments. Interventional stiffening of AAA-adjacent aortic segments (via external application of surgical adhesive) significantly reduces aneurysm growth. These changes correlate with reduced segmental stiffness of the AAA-prone aorta (due to equalized stiffness in adjacent segments), reduced axial wall stress, decreased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), attenuated elastin breakdown, and decreased expression of inflammatory cytokines and macrophage infiltration, as well as attenuated apoptosis within the aortic wall. Cyclic pressurization of segmentally stiffened aortic segments ex vivo increases the expression of genes related to inflammation and extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling. Finally, human ultrasound studies reveal that aging, a significant AAA risk factor, is accompanied by segmental infrarenal aortic stiffening.
-The present study introduces the novel concept of segmental aortic stiffening (SAS) as an early pathomechanism generating aortic wall stress and triggering aneurysmal growth, thereby delineating potential underlying molecular mechanisms and therapeutic targets. In addition, monitoring SAS may aid the identification of patients at risk for AAA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Treatment of decompensated heart failure often includes administration of levosimendan. Myeloperoxidase (MPO) is released during polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) degranulation, and mediates dysregulation of vascular tone in heart failure. We evaluated the effects of levosimendan-treatment on MPO in patients with acute decompensation of chronic heart failure over a one week course. Plasma MPO levels were significantly decreased after levosimendan treatment (from 252.1 ± 31.1 pmol/l at baseline to 215.02 ± 27.96 pmol/l at 6 h, p < 0.05). Ex vivo incubation of whole blood with levosimendan decreased MPO release after PMN-stimulation (8.2 ± 1.4-fold increase at baseline vs. 6.0 ± 1.1-fold increase with levosimendan). MPO levels also significantly correlated with diastolic blood pressure over the time course. In a multivariate linear model, the main contributor to systolic, diastolic and mean blood pressure was level of PMN elastase. MPO contributed only in heparin-treated patients, suggesting a more significant role for endothelial-bound MPO than for circulating MPO or elastase with respect to blood pressure regulation. We here provide the first evidence that levosimendan treatment inhibits MPO release by PMNs in decompensated heart failure patients. This mechanism may regulate endothelial function and vascular tone in heart failure patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Identification and treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) remain among the most prominent challenges in vascular medicine. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are crucial regulators of cardiovascular pathology and represent intriguing targets to limit AAA expansion. Here we show, by using two established murine models of AAA disease along with human aortic tissue and plasma analysis, that miR-24 is a key regulator of vascular inflammation and AAA pathology. In vivo and in vitro studies reveal chitinase 3-like 1 (Chi3l1) to be a major target and effector under the control of miR-24, regulating cytokine synthesis in macrophages as well as their survival, promoting aortic smooth muscle cell migration and cytokine production, and stimulating adhesion molecule expression in vascular endothelial cells. We further show that modulation of miR-24 alters AAA progression in animal models, and that miR-24 and CHI3L1 represent novel plasma biomarkers of AAA disease progression in humans.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Nature Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Somatostatin receptor subtype 2 (SSTR2) is the most frequently expressed SSTR subtype in normal human tissues. SSTR2 expression is differentially regulated in various tumor types and therapeutic somatostatin analogs binding to SSTR2 are in clinical use. In prostate cancers highly contradictory results in terms of SSTR2 expression and its consequences have been published over the past years. The aim of this study was to clarify prevalence and clinical significance of SSTR2 expression in prostate cancer. Therefore, quantitative immunohistochemistry (IHC) using a tissue microarray containing samples from 3,261 prostate cancer patients with extensive clinical and molecular cancer characteristics and oncological follow-up data was performed. IHC data was compared to publicly available Gene Expression Omnibus datasets of human prostate cancer gene expression arrays. While membranous SSTR2 staining was always seen in normal prostate epithelium, SSTR2 staining was absent in more than half (56.1%) of 2,195 interpretable prostate cancer samples. About 13% of all analyzed prostate cancers showed moderate to strong cytoplasmic and membranous SSTR2 staining. Staining intensities were inversely correlated with high Gleason grade, advanced pT category, high tumor cell proliferation (p<0.0001 each), high pre-operative PSA levels, (p = 0.0011) and positive surgical margins (p = 0.006). In silico analysis confirmed lower SSTR2 gene expression in prostate cancers vs. normal adjacent tissue (p = 0.0424), prostate cancer metastases vs. primary cancers (p = 0.0011) and recurrent vs. non-recurrent prostate cancers (p = 0.0438). PSA-free survival gradually declined with SSTR2 staining intensity (p<0.0001). SSTR2-negative cancers were more likely to develop metastases over time (p<0.05). In conclusion, most prostate cancers are indeed SSTR2-negative and loss of SSTR2 strongly predicts an unfavorable tumor phenotype and poor prognosis. Therefore, SSTR2 expression seems an important factor in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer and re-introduction of the receptor in SSTR2-negative prostate cancers may feature a promising target for novel gene therapy approaches.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Despite the introduction of antiproliferative drug-eluting stents, coronary heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States. In-stent restenosis and bypass graft failure are characterized by excessive smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation and concomitant myointima formation with luminal obliteration. Here we show that during the development of myointimal hyperplasia in human arteries, SMCs show hyperpolarization of their mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and acquire a temporary state with a high proliferative rate and resistance to apoptosis. Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase isoform 2 (PDK2) was identified as a key regulatory protein, and its activation proved necessary for relevant myointima formation. Pharmacologic PDK2 blockade with dichloroacetate or lentiviral PDK2 knockdown prevented ΔΨm hyperpolarization, facilitated apoptosis and reduced myointima formation in injured human mammary and coronary arteries, rat aortas, rabbit iliac arteries and swine (pig) coronary arteries. In contrast to several commonly used antiproliferative drugs, dichloroacetate did not prevent vessel re-endothelialization. Targeting myointimal ΔΨm and alleviating apoptosis resistance is a novel strategy for the prevention of proliferative vascular diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Significance:
Arterial blood vessels functionally and structurally adapt to altering hemodynamic forces in order to accommodate changing needs and to provide stress homeostasis. This ability is achieved at the cellular level by converting mechanical stimulation into biochemical signals (i.e., mechanotransduction). Physiological mechanical stress helps maintain vascular structure and function, whereas pathologic or aberrant stress may impair cellular mechano-signaling, and initiate or augment cellular processes that drive disease.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) may represent an intriguing class of mechanically regulated second messengers. Chronically enhanced ROS generation may be induced by adverse mechanical stresses, and is associated with a multitude of vascular diseases. Although a causal relationship has clearly been demonstrated in large numbers of animal studies, an effective ROS-modulating therapy still remains to be established by clinical studies.
Critical issues and future directions:
This review article focuses on the role of various mechanical forces (in the form of laminar shear stress, oscillatory shear stress, or cyclic stretch) as modulators of ROS-driven signaling, and their subsequent effects on vascular biology and homeostasis, as well as on specific diseases such as arteriosclerosis, hypertension, and abdominal aortic aneurysms. Specifically, it highlights the significance of the various NADPH oxidase (NOX) isoforms as critical ROS generators in the vasculature. Directed targeting of defined components in the complex network of ROS (mechano-)signaling may represent a key for successful translation of experimental findings into clinical practice.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The contribution of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) disease to human morbidity and mortality has increased in the aging, industrialized world. In response, extraordinary efforts have been launched to determine the molecular and pathophysiological characteristics of the diseased aorta. This work aims to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to limit AAA expansion and, ultimately, rupture. Contributions from multiple research groups have uncovered a complex transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory milieu, which is believed to be essential for maintaining aortic vascular homeostasis. Recently, novel small noncoding RNAs, called microRNAs, have been identified as important transcriptional and post-transcriptional inhibitors of gene expression. MicroRNAs are thought to "fine tune" the translational output of their target messenger RNAs (mRNAs) by promoting mRNA degradation or inhibiting translation. With the discovery that microRNAs act as powerful regulators in the context of a wide variety of diseases, it is only logical that microRNAs be thoroughly explored as potential therapeutic entities. This current review summarizes interesting findings regarding the intriguing roles and benefits of microRNA expression modulation during AAA initiation and propagation. These studies utilize disease-relevant murine models, as well as human tissue from patients undergoing OPEN ACCESS
Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · International Journal of Molecular Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are an important source of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. and worldwide. Treatment options are limited, with open surgery or endovascular repair remaining the only curative treatments. Classical cardiovascular medications have generally failed to prevent or significantly alter AAA formation or progression. Therefore, there is a tremendous need for better therapeutic approaches. With increasing knowledge of microRNA (miR) regulation in the context of cardiovascular disease, and with improving technical options permitting alteration of miR-expression levels in vitro and in vivo, we are offered a glimpse into the diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities of using miRs to treat vascular pathobiology. This review focuses on the role of miRs in aneurysmal disease of the abdominal aorta, summarizing recent publications regarding this topic, and outlining known effects of relevant miRs in AAA formation, including miR-21 and miR-29b. Despite there being only limited studies available, several other miRs also display clear potential for alteration of the disease process including miR-26a, the miR-17-92-cluster, miRs-221/222, miR-133 and miR-146a. While studies have shown that miRs can regulate the activity and interplay of vascular inflammatory cells, endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells and fibroblasts, all key elements leading to AAA formation, much work remains to be done.
Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Current Vascular Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Pulmonary insufficiency (PI) is a common long-term sequel after repair of tetralogy of Fallot, causing progressive right ventricular (RV) dilation and failure. We describe the physiologic and molecular characteristics of the first murine model of RV volume overload. Methods: PI was created by entrapping the pulmonary valve leaflets with sutures. Imaging, catheterization and exercise testing were performed at 1, 3 and 6 months and compared to sham controls. RNA from the RV free wall was hybridized to Agilent whole-genome oligonucleotide microarrays. Results: Volume overload resulted in RV enlargement, decreased RV outflow tract shortening fraction at 1 month followed by normalization at 3 and 6 months (39±2, 44±2 and 41±2 vs. 46±3% in sham), early reversal of E/A ratio followed by pseudonormalization (0.87±0.08, 0.82±0.08 and 0.96±0.08 vs. 1.04±0.03, p<0.05), elevated end diastolic pressure (7.6±0.7, 6.9±0.8 and 7±0.5 vs. 2.7±0.2mmHg, p<0.05) and decreased exercise duration (26±0.4, 26±1 and 22±1.3 vs. 30±1.1 min, p<0.05). Subendocardial RV fibrosis was evident by 1 month. At 1 month, 372 genes were significantly downregulated. Mitochondrial pathways and G-protein coupled receptor signaling were the most represented categories. At 3 months, 434 genes were upregulated and 307 downregulated. While many of the same pathways continued to be downregulated, TNF-α, TGF-β1, p53-signaling, and extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling transitioned from down- to upregulated. Conclusions: We describe a novel murine model of chronic RV volume overload recapitulating aspects of the clinical disease with gene expression changes suggesting early mitochondrial bioenergetic dysfunction, enhanced TGF-β signaling, ECM remodeling and apoptosis.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology